Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, they say.
Maybe so, but during this isolated time of working from home, I’ve noticed that breakfast seems to occur later and later in the day. Because I find it’s often difficult to make breakfast when you’re still in bed.
Be that as it may, the other day, I found out just what happens when you try to be super healthy and force yourself to eat something called “granola” for breakfast.
When I was a kid, my go-to breakfast was the venerable cocoa and toast. I must have dunked toast into a mug of hot chocolate every morning for about 12 years. Until I discovered Corn Pops (everybody sing now: “Corn Pops are tops!”) and Sugar Crisp (everybody sing with Sugar Bear now: “Can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp!”).
Also, Frosted Flakes (remember Tony the Tiger: “They’re GRRREAT!”).
I mean, that’s still pretty healthy, right? You put milk in there, so that’s good, right?
And besides all that sugar, there’s still some corn somewhere, isn’t there? And, of course, there’s another favourite: Rice Krispies, which are apparently made of rice instead of sugar.
For some reason, I still remember the TV commercials made a point of bragging that Rice Krispies contain “niacin and riboflavin.”
Now, I’m still not sure what that is, but with names like that, they either have to be really excellent vitamins, or part of a plot to poison the world’s population of breakfast eaters.
These days, the Better Half always tries to get me to have porridge for breakfast.
It’s no doubt a well-meaning attempt to counteract my tendency to indulge in late-night snacks that might be, shall we say, less than optimal, health-wise.
Trouble is, when she makes the porridge, she often sneaks in a bunch of allegedly healthy items, like nuts and seeds and possibly vegetables.
I suspect she may have even snuck a Brussels sprout or two in the porridge, which, I’m pretty sure is illegal, marriage-wise.
But even while I’m secretly dumping the porridge out in the little kitchen green box, I do appreciate her efforts to keep me from tipping over any time soon.
So, in a weak moment, I thought I’d try granola. You know, granola — a crisp and crunchy mix of, I think, nuts and grain and oats and chunks of other supposedly healthy stuff from farmer’s fields.
Oh, I’d had granola before – often, when the Rotten Kids notice that “dad’s going weird again,” when my blood sugar tanks, they force me to eat a granola bar that tastes like lumpy cardboard. But so far, I’d managed to avoid granola cereal for breakfast. Until the other day.
I have one word that perfectly describes the experience: dentist.
Now, if there’s anything I dislike more than Brussels sprouts, it’s going to the dentist, and my first thought after that fateful crunch was: “This is what I get for trying to avoid Fruit Loops!”
Apparently, it’s common to put small rocks in granola, or at least nuts that have the same consistency as driveway gravel, and I chomped on one. Snapped a front driver’s side tooth clean in half.
Many days of pain later, at the dentist’s office, full hazmat suits everywhere, the drill is buzzing, the spit is flying and my eyes are involuntarily blinking like those bright white emergency lights on a cop car.
It’s a temporary fix, the kind with an indeterminate future of Jello and yogurt.
Oh, but there is good news. I’m back to cocoa and toast for breakfast. You know: dark cloud – silver lining.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.